Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Wednesday 9-29-10

"He did right in the sight of the LORD, according to all that his father Amaziah had done. Only the high places were not taken away; the people still sacrificed and burned incense on the high places. The LORD struck the king, so that he was a leper to the day of his death." 2 Kings 15:3-5

As I read this it struck me that Azariah could be so blind to his sin. In chapter 12 and 14 we see two other Kings of Judah do the same thing. They lived right before God, only they did not remove the high places. And as I pondered how either blinded he must have been, or he didn't truly care. I was convicted, how many times has and does God show me my sin and yet I continue in it. It seems to very well coincide with what I was reading in Proverbs 29 today, it says: "A man who hardens his neck after much reproof Will suddenly be broken beyond remedy." God is so merciful, it honestly boggles my mind that time and time again I sin against Him, and I right now the wrath of God is not bearing down upon me. Even more than that, Christ took the wrath of God for me, I sinned I deserved God's wrath, Jesus died and took that wrath and punishment for me! But let me not "presume" upon grace, for Romans 6:2 says that we who are dead to sin are not to continue therein any longer.

I will be the first to admit, I've been deceived by sin, by my own lusts. In fact the natural man is nothing but deceived, because his mind is set on the flesh and not God. Satan is called the deceiver of the world in Revelation 12. We are not called to complacency or conformity with this world but rather to the renewing of our minds (Rom 12:2), that we might have that mind which was also in Christ Jesus (Phil 2:5). We are also called to encourage, exhort and even reprove other brothers (and sisters as the case may be) in Christ, that we would become hardened by the deceitfulness of sin (Heb 3:13). However if we attempt to not be deceived in our own strength and have the mind of Christ by our own doing, it will fail. We see in Jude 1:24 that it is only Jesus who can keep us from stumbling and present us spotless and without blame before the Father. And ultimately it will be worth it all because one day we "we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is." (1 John 3:2)

Monday, September 27, 2010

Sunday 9-26-10

"Thus Jehu eradicated Baal out of Israel." 2 King 10:28

"But Jehu was not careful to walk in the law of the LORD, the God of Israel, with all his heart" 2 Kings 10:31

As I read the store of Jehu this evening it was a tragic one. Here he did a mighty work to rid the land of Baal and the prophets of Baal and the priests of Baal, and the worshipers of Baal. He was quite cunning in the way he did so. He deceived the many followers of Baal into believing that he was the devoutest follower of Baal and he assembled many of the followers of Baal into one place. He had before hand stationed a band of solider's outside the assembly, and at the appointed time they proceeded to slay all the prophet's, priests and worshipers of Baal. They took out the alters and asheriam and destroyed them. He did a great and mighty thing in eradicating Baal out of Israel.

But, he was not careful to walk in the law of the Lord, with all his heart. What a tragedy! He was used so mightily of the Lord, yet he did not truly know God. He was used of God, but did not pursue God with his all. See, it is not simply enough to rid our lives of our "Baal" or as the case may be our "Baal" could be friendships, pornography, our self-exaltation.. anything which we would allow to capture our devotion and affections. And it is not enough to simply rid our lives of such, because if we could do so without knowing Jesus than what is the point? We set ourselves up for failure if our focus is simply removing the "Baal" from our lives, and not upon knowing and treasuring Jesus. Don't get me wrong, it is crucial that the "Baal" be removed, but if our hearts affections are removed from one "Baal" and not placed fully upon Jesus than it will only be a matter of time before another "Baal" captures our hearts.

Secondly, there can be no room for "second place.'" When it comes to loving Jesus. A much more godly man than I compared it to he and his wife. He told me "If I was to tell my wife, 'Honey you're number one in my life... but I'm going to go get a girlfriend. Now you're still my first importance, but there is going to be a number two.'" He chuckled and said "Samuel, how do you think that would go over with my wife?" That example has really struck home. Because if I am to love Jesus, than there must be no room for second place. He must be my all, my everything. I must find satisfaction and joy in him alone. I must love Him with all my heart, soul and mind.. He must be my all, my everything.. there must be no room for 'second place.'

Friday, September 17, 2010

Friday 9-17-10

"Araunah said to David, "Let my lord the king take and offer up what is good in his sight. Look, the oxen for the burnt offering, the threshing sledges and the yokes of the oxen for the wood. "Everything, O king, Araunah gives to the king." And Araunah said to the king, "May the LORD your God accept you." However, the king said to Araunah, "No, but I will surely buy it from you for a price, for I will not offer burnt offerings to the LORD my God which cost me nothing."  2 Samuel 22-24 (emphasis mine)

David had sinned, he had taken a census of the people, when God had commanded him not to. God had promised to being a severe pestilence among the nation of Israel because of it. As the pestilence swept through the land, David realized that it was his sin which was causing this great tragedy to fall among the people. David besought God that they might be delivered, God speaks through a man in Gad. Through this prophet God instructs David to erect an alter on the threshing floor where the angle of the Lord stopped the pestilence. The man who owned the threshing floor offered all he had to King David to offer to the Lord. He was ready and willing to freely give of his land, possessions and livestock for the sacrifice to the Lord.

David refuses the gift's which Araunah offered him. He told him flat out the he was not going to give God something which cost him nothing. So different than how we think, how I think.. much to often. It is a battle within myself many times to read His word, or to truly read His word. It is much to easy to read without comprehending, read without meditating, read without there be an ongoing heart change. It is so easy to do "blanket" prayers, to not be earnest and fervent in prayers. It is easy to let fellowship with other believers be upon 'surface' things, and not spiritual matters. It's easy to live a life in which all we give to God cost us nothing. 

I am convicted. I do not spend the time like I should with God in the mornings. Sure I spend 30 minutes praying than 20-30 minutes reading Proverbs before work begins. But that is nothing, how dare I say that Jesus is the most precious thing to me, when my actions portray something different? I need to spend those first waking hours with my Savior. Humbled at His feet, begging for the grace to walk in His ways. Oh God, may my life truly be a living sacrifice. May my actions bring you glory, may the words that I speak be truth and edify, may the very thoughts of my heart be pleasing in your sight. Are you giving God, that which has cost you nothing?

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Saturday 9-11-10

"As the LORD lives, you have been upright, and your going out and your coming in with me in the army are pleasing in my sight; for I have not found evil in you from the day of your coming to me to this day." 1 Samuel 29:6

"But David strengthened himself in the LORD his God." 1 Samuel 30:6

Two different verses, in two different chapters. But I believe that they are very much related, let us take a look. David had a reputation, a godly reputation. It was very apparent to those who lived around and with David, that he was upright in his dealings. It was said of David that from the very day that they first met him, until this day (almost two years later) that they found no evil in him! What a tremendous testimony to the work of God!

If our families, co-workers, friends had to give an honest account of our lives. What would that account look like? Would it be said of Samuel Joel Dye that from the very day they met him, up until now no evil was found in him? When others speak of me, would they magnify the name of Jesus for the work He has done and is doing in my life? What would be the account that is give of my life?

Secondly in 1 Sam 30:6 we see David's source of strength. It lies with the Lord his God. Here David and his band of men come back to their home city, to find it ransacked and their women, children and livestock have been taken by the enemy. David's life was being threatened, for their were numerous men who were devising plans to stone him. And here we see David, rather that attempting to defend himself, rather than complaining, rather than giving in. He strengthens himself in the Lord.

The parallel I see in these passages is that David had the godly reputation he did, not because he was someone great. But rather because he strengthened himself in a great God! If I am to live a life pleasing onto the one who choose me to be His child, than I must not find strength or satisfaction in any other but the Lord my God. He alone is my strength and my shield, the very help in the present time of need.